A girl in a poppy wreath with a carnation in her hand - Orest Adamovich Kiprensky. 40 x 42 cm
The talent of the portrait painter allowed Orest Kiprensky to experience both minutes of complete triumph and glory, as well as a feeling of bitter hopelessness. The magnificent works of the master have gained widespread fame not only in Russia, but also far beyond its borders. A separate and very important page in Kiprensky’s biography is the period of his life in Italy. It was difficult for local academics to believe that the canvases he presented were created not by one of the great Italian masters, but by their contemporary, a Russian portrait painter. It was here that popularity came to him, it was here that his name gained notoriety.
The portrait best known as “A Girl in a Poppy Wreath with a Carnation in her Hand” was painted in Italy from a child named Anna Maria (Mariuccia). The artist was sincerely attached to the girl, which at one time caused a lot of rumors of various kinds. Kiprensky was forced to return to his homeland, but after seven years he returned to Rome and sought out a young girl. For the sake of marriage with Mariuccia, Orest Kiprensky adopted the Catholic faith, however, the marriage did not last long - a few months after the wedding, the artist suddenly died of pneumonia.
Whatever the background of this picture, the skill of its author remains especially valuable. Mariuccia sits, with laid-back grace leaning on the table, as if by chance turning an interested look at the viewer. A wreath of poppies is reddened on dark blond, carelessly cut hair, and in a puffy handle the baby holds a clove flower. The face of Mariucci was most carefully written out - with a slight blush, lively, emotionally expressive, with deep and attentive eyes. The gentle, pure and defenseless image of the girl is subtly conveyed by Kiprensky with the help of the contrast of a dark background and a luminous, pinkish-porcelain skin tone of a small model.